So you’re ready to hire a designer for your next big project? First of all, congratulations on your new business or venture!
If you find yourself reading this article, though, I’m speculating that you: a) possibly had a not-so-great experience working with a designer in the past and you’re wondering how you can ensure a great working relationship from the very beginning of this new project, b) you’ve never worked with a pro designer before and you’re wondering how the heck this whole thing is gonna work, or c) you’re an amazing person who happens to read all of my posts.
Whatever your situation may be, I’m outlining some of the best things you can bring to the table as a design client from my perspective and based on my personal design workflow. I know every designer is a little different, so definitely don’t be afraid to ask whoever you hire what you can do to be the very best client for them. I know they’ll absolutely love you for asking!
Be prepared with thorough answers about your business and your target audience
I kick off every project with a detailed questionnaire where I ask about your mission, your competition, what sets your business apart, etc. This isn’t because I want to waste a bunch of your time, it’s because the better my understanding of you and your business, the better and more of a fit the finished design product is going to be.
Don’t think that you can skip the questionnaire altogether. This is the best way for me to gather information for our first meeting/conversation and do a deep dive into your business. Without the questionnaire, I’m really stepping blindly into our conversation, and I won’t be equipped to ask you the best questions to help us both dig deeper.
Stick to our agreed upon project schedule
Hey, I know we’re all super busy, and I totally understand and appreciate that things will absolutely come up during a project (trust me, we’ve all been there before!). But in the same way that I’m taking time out of my schedule (and in turn taking time away from other clients), I expect you’ll be doing the same: taking time out of your schedule and away from your clients in order to work on this project together. That’s why it’s all the more important that we choose a project start date that works for you and your availability. It doesn’t make sense for us to officially start a project smack dab in the middle of a conference you’re speaking at, a vacation you’re taking, or during your busiest time of year.
Provide all the necessary assets before we kick things off
Gathering photos, generating content, creating graphics, etc. is definitely a taxing process that takes some time, which is all the more reason for everything to be collected prior to our project kickoff. Having all the necessary assets keeps things moving efficiently and helps keep both of our inboxes a little neater (there’s WAY less back and forth). When we agree to work together and on a project start date, I’ll send you a digital folder where you’ll be able to upload anything and everything: photos, logo files, graphics, videos, copy, etc. All of this is needed before your project kicks off because I truly believe in designing around your content (and not the other way around).
Try not to be a ghost
If you’re not hip to the lingo (trust me, I’m not either), ghosting is defined as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” Chances are, if we’ve decided to work together, I think you’re a pretty great human being and I care about your well being so I’m inevitably going to be a little concerned if you drop off the face of the earth for weeks at a time. This also makes it incredibly difficult for our project to stay on track and it means you’re not honoring the time commitments we’ve made to one another.
Most importantly, have fun with it!
This is my number one rule: on any project I’ve ever worked on, we’re not making life or death decisions so everything is always going to work out alright and it’s okay to make mistakes and then laugh about them later. If you’re late on a deadline, send me a funny meme by way of apology. I get that life happens and I truly believe that we’re in the project together when we’re working together. Let’s be sure to have fun!
Think working together sounds like a good time? Send me a message over here and tell me all about your project! I’d love to see if we’d be a good fit.